OCEANPORT – New Jersey City University’s satellite campus on the former Fort Monmouth grounds is slowly coming into focus but is still months away.
Squier Hall, built by the U.S. Army in 1935 as an administration building and where the campus will be, is an active construction site. The drywall is on most of the interior walls as the classrooms, labs, faculty and administrative offices are taking shape.
The architecture will feature sawtooth ceilings, views of Parker Creek a tributary of the Shrewsbury River, an enclosed tunnel from one side of the building to the other and state-of-art nursing labs.
If work keeps at its current pace, the new campus will be open in September, and the 350 students enrolled now at NJCU through Brookdale Community College’s Wall location, will move to the Fort Monmouth site.
Whether students attend virtual or in-class, will depend on where the state is at as far as the pandemic goes.
According to the contractor’s site manager, COVID-19 caused some work stoppages in the summer when permits took longer than usual to obtain from building departments. They’re also facing some hurdles now to get materials, such as custom doors, due to either supply shortages or transport holdups.
Plans began in earnest in 2018 for NJCU to locate a satellite campus on Fort Monmouth, which itself is undergoing redevelopment after the Army closed it down in 2011.
KKF University Enterprises entered into a contract to buy Squier Hall for $1.5 million, invest $10.440 million in building renovations and then lease it to NJCU.
NJCU will offer degree programs in nursing, cybersecurity, fire science and business.
Michael Edmondson, director of NJCU at Fort Monmouth, told the Asbury Park Press during a walk-through of the campus Tuesday, that they have new articulation agreements with community colleges at Brookdale, Mercer, Middlesex and Ocean.
He expects the student body will double in size, especially with nurses being in high demand.
Future development of the 28-acre Squier Hall site has been a concern to Oceanport residents. In 2019, KKF tabled plans on an expanded campus that included a residence hall, academic lab, athletic center, parking garage, performing arts center and athletic fields.